Seven Blocks of Granite

The Seven Blocks of Granite were the Fordham University football team's offensive line under head coach "Sleepy" Jim Crowley and line coach Frank Leahy. The most famous Seven Blocks of Granite were Leo Paquin, Johnny Druze, Alex Wojciechowicz, Ed Franco, Al Babartsky, Natty Pierce and Vince Lombardi. The nickname was also commonly used to referred to the Fordham lines of the 1929, 1930,[1] and 1937 teams, but it is the 1936 line which is today the best known of these lines.[2]

Seven Blocks of Granite Mounument 2009
The Seven Blocks of Granite Monument at Fordham University

In the 1930s, Fordham University was a college football power, as they were consistently a nationally ranked team. In 1936, school publicist Timothy Cohane needed a nickname to spur recognition of his Fordham Rams, who were undefeated halfway through the season and on the verge of possibly their best season ever. The strength of the Fordham team was its offensive line of seven men: one center, two guards, two tackles and two ends. In his columns, American sportswriter Grantland Rice had already written "The Fordham Wall Still Stands" in honor of the team and its early season success, but a catchy nickname was still needed—something to rival Notre Dame's famous Four Horsemen. The year before Cohane tried using the "Seven Samsons" to highlight the squad's offensive linemen, but it never caught on. Cohane then tried the "Seven Blocks of Granite".

In its final two games the 1936 team was tied by an inferior University of Georgia team and beaten by a lowly NYU team—ending their hopes of a Rose Bowl appearance.[3] The line was not as good as some of the previous lines at Fordham, or the 1937 team which went 7-0-1. However, the 1936 team and the Seven Blocks of Granite became college football immortals.

Associated with the name, the Rotary Club's Lombardi Award is awarded annually to the best college football lineman or linebacker. The main part of the trophy, awarded to a down lineman on either side of the ball or a linebacker who lines up no further than five yards deep from the ball, is a block of granite, giving homage to Lombardi's college days as a lineman.[4]

References

  1. ^ Robert McG. Thomas, Jr., John M. Cannella, 88, Judge in Federal Court for 31 Years, The New York Times, 4 November 1996.
  2. ^ Captain of Fordham's 'Seven Blocks of Granite' dies, ESPN, 29 December 2005, retrieved 29 December 2008.
  3. ^ Richard Goldstein, Al Bart, 87, a Member of Fordham's Seven Blocks of Granite, The New York Times, 4 January 2003, retrieved 29 December 2008.
  4. ^ "Michigan's Woodley wins Lombardi Award". USA Today. Associated Press. December 6, 2006. Retrieved July 16, 2017.

Further reading

1936 Fordham Rams football team

The 1936 Fordham Rams football team represented Fordham University during the 1936 college football season.

Led by fourth-year head coach Jim Crowley, the Rams' offense scored 128 over eight games, while the defense allowed no more than seven points in any game, and shut out three teams, including second-ranked Pittsburgh.

This team is best remembered for its offensive line, the Seven Blocks of Granite, which included future NFL head coach Vince Lombardi; the line coach was Frank Leahy.By mid-November, the Rams were 5–0–1 and ranked third with two games to play, and the leading candidate for a Rose Bowl invitation, but a tie with Georgia at the Polo Grounds dropped them to eighth. Five days later at Yankee Stadium on Thanksgiving, the NYU Violets handed the Rams a 7–6 defeat. Right guard Lombardi called it "the most devastating loss of my life," dashing the hopes of a bowl game. (The previous year, Fordham had spoiled NYU's undefeated season and bowl hopes with a 21–0 shutout.)

Fordham ended up fifteenth in the Final AP National Ranking in the first year for the poll.

1947 Fordham Rams football team

The 1947 Fordham Rams football team was an American football team that represented Fordham University as an independent during the 1947 college football season. In its second season under head coach Ed Danowski, the team compiled a 1–6–1 record and was outscored opponents by a total of 245 to Rams offense scored 44.After a winless 1946 season, Fordham boosters raised money for 30 new scholarships. In addition, the school made several additions to its coaching staff, including the hiring of Vince Lombardi. Lombardi was responsible for coaching the freshman team. In addition, he helped the varsity team implement the T-Formation on offense. Lombardi did this for a salary of $3,500 a year. Athletic director Jack Coffey stated that he thought Lombardi would one day become head coach of the varsity team.

Al Babartsky

Albert "Al" John Babartsky (April 19, 1915 – December 29, 2002) was a professional American football tackle who played in the National Football League for six seasons for the Chicago Cardinals and the Chicago Bears. He was a member of the Seven Blocks of Granite at Fordham University.

Alex Wojciechowicz

Alexander Francis "Wojie" Wojciechowicz (; August 12, 1915 – July 13, 1992) was an American football player from 1935 to 1950. He was a two-way player who played at center on offense and at linebacker on defense. He has been inducted into both the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame, was a founder and the first president of the NFL Alumni Association, and was the third player to receive the Order of the Leather Helmet.

Wojciechowicz played college football for the Fordham Rams from 1935 to 1937 and was a member of the line that became known as the Seven Blocks of Granite. He was selected as the consensus first-team All-American center in both 1936 and 1937.

Wojciechowicz was selected by the Detroit Lions in the first round of the 1938 NFL Draft and played for the Lions from 1938 to 1946. He was selected as a first-team All-NFL player in 1939 and 1944. In 1946, he was released by the Lions and then sold to the Philadelphia Eagles, for whom he played from 1946 to 1950. He won two NFL championships with the Eagles, in 1948 and 1949.

Art Hunter

Arthur Hunter (April 24, 1933 – December 25, 2009) was an American football tackle who played twelve seasons in the National Football League (NFL), mainly for the Los Angeles Rams.

Ed Franco

Edmondo Guido Armando "Ed" Franco (April 24, 1915 – November 18, 1992) was a professional American football player. He earned fame as one of the legendary Seven Blocks of Granite and played professionally for the Boston Yanks. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1980.

Fordham Environmental Law Review

The Fordham Environmental Law Review is a triannual law journal published by students at Fordham University School of Law, addressing topics in environmental law, legislation, and public policy. It was established in 1989 as the Fordham Environmental Law Report and changed in 1993 to the Fordham Environmental Law Journal. In 2004, the journal obtained its current name. The journal sponsors an annual symposium. It is the only law journal at Fordham University School of Law that allows first year law students to apply during their fall semester to become staff members.

Four Horsemen (American football)

The Four Horsemen of Notre Dame comprised a group of American football players at the University of Notre Dame under coach Knute Rockne. They were the backfield of Notre Dame's 1924 football team. The players that made up this group were Harry Stuhldreher, Don Miller, Jim Crowley, and Elmer Layden.In 1924, a nickname coined by sportswriter Grantland Rice and the actions of a student publicity aide transformed the Notre Dame backfield of Stuhldreher, Crowley, Miller, and Layden into one of the most noted groups of collegiate athletes in football history, the Four Horsemen of Notre Dame.Quarterback Harry Stuhldreher, left halfback Jim Crowley, right halfback Don Miller, and fullback Elmer Layden had run rampant through Irish opponents' defenses since coach Knute Rockne devised the lineup in 1922 during their sophomore season. During the three-year tenure of the Four Horsemen, Notre Dame lost only two games; one each in 1922 and 1923, both to Nebraska in Lincoln before packed houses.

Harry Jacunski

Hieronym Anthony “Harry” Jacunski (October 20, 1915 – February 20, 2003) was a National Football League (NFL) player and college football coach for over 40 years.

Jacunski was an All-state center on the New Britain High School 1934 basketball team and played football with Vince Lombardi at Fordham University, where Jacunski was one of Fordham’s "Seven Blocks of Granite". In 1938 he was co-captain of the Fordham football team where he started as end.

He played in the NFL for six seasons (1939 – 1944) as defensive end for the Green Bay Packers, who were NFL champions in 1939 and 1944.

In 1945 he started a 35-year coaching career: one year at University of Notre Dame, two years at Harvard University, and the last 33 years at Yale University. Jacunski was inducted into both the Fordham and Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame.

Jim Schrader

James Lee Schrader (June 8, 1932 – January 1972) was an American football center and tackle in the National Football League for the Washington Redskins and the Philadelphia Eagles from 1954 to 1964.

Schrader attended and played college football at the University of Notre Dame and was then drafted by the Redskins in the second round of the 1954 NFL Draft.

With the nickname "Big Jim" and listed at 6'-2" and 244 lbs, Schrader played in 116 NFL games, starting 48 of them.Even though, in his 10-year career, Jim never played for a team that finished with a winning record. he was a Pro Bowl selection in 1958, 1959 and 1961.

John F. Druze

John Francis Druze (July 3, 1914 – December 27, 2005) was an American football player and coach.

Leo Paquin

Leo Paquin (June 15, 1910 – December 2, 1993) was an American football player. He played end for Fordham University as part of the 1936 line known as the "Seven Blocks of Granite". After graduating from Fordham, he eschewed a professional football career in favor of a 40-year career as a high school football coach and teacher.

Lombardi (film)

Lombardi is a 2010 documentary film surrounding Pro Football Hall of Fame head coach Vince Lombardi produced by NFL Films and HBO. The documentary is one of three productions detailing Lombardi, along with a Broadway theatre and ESPN feature film. Besides focusing on his coaching career with the Green Bay Packers, it also details his playing days at Fordham University and being part of the Seven Blocks of Granite offensive line, along with being a high school coach and teacher at Englewood, New Jersey's St. Cecilia High School. Among the people interviewed are Lombardi's children and Hall of Famers Sam Huff, Frank Gifford, Bart Starr and Sonny Jurgensen. HBO found many of the clips in the documentary at the UCLA Film and Television Archive. The documentary was aired at Lambeau Field on November 18, the Pro Football Hall of Fame on November 27, and the College Football Hall of Fame on December 1 before airing on HBO on December 11.The documentary won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Sports Documentary.

Lombardi Award

The Lombardi Award is awarded by the Lombardi Foundation annually to the best college football player, regardless of position, based on performance, as well as leadership, character, and resiliency. From 1970 until 2016 the award was presented by Rotary International specifically to a lineman or linebacker. The Lombardi Award program was approved by the Rotary International club in Houston in 1970 shortly after the death of famed National Football League coach Vince Lombardi. The committee outlined the criteria for eligibility for the award, which remained in place until 2016: A player should be a down lineman on either offense or defense or a linebacker who lines up no further than five yards deep from the ball.The voting electorate is made up of the head coaches from all NCAA Division I schools, sports media personnel from across the country, and former winners and finalists of the Lombardi Award. The total number of voters is approximately 500. Ohio State University holds the record for most Lombardi awards with six. Orlando Pace, the only two-time winner (1995 and 1996), is the most recent offensive lineman to be honored.

The main part of the trophy used to be a block of granite, paying homage to Lombardi's college days at Fordham University as an offensive lineman when his offensive line was referred to as the "Seven Blocks of Granite". A new trophy designed by Texas sculptor Edd Hayes replaced the original block of granite.

Menil Mavraides

Menil Mavraides (born 1931) is a former guard for the Philadelphia Eagles football team in 1954 and 1957. With the nickname "Minnie", he was listed at 6' 2" and 220 lbs.

Packers sweep

The Packers sweep, also known as the Lombardi sweep, is an American football play popularized by Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi. The Packers sweep is based on the sweep, a football play that involves a back taking a handoff and running parallel to the line of scrimmage before turning upfield behind lead blockers. The play became noteworthy due to its extensive use by the Packers in the 1960s, when the team won five National Football League (NFL) Championships, as well as the first two Super Bowls. Lombardi used the play as the foundation on which the rest of the team's offensive game plan was built. The dominance of the play, as well as the sustained success of Lombardi's teams in the 1960s, solidified the Packers sweep's reputation as one of the most famous football plays in history.

Slip Madigan

Edward Patrick "Slip" Madigan (November 18, 1896 – October 10, 1966) was an American football player and coach of football, basketball, and baseball. He served as the head coach at Saint Mary's College of California from 1921 to 1939 and at the University of Iowa from 1943 to 1944, compiling a career college football record of 119–58–13. Madigan was also the head basketball coach at Saint Mary's from 1921 to 1927 and the head baseball coach at the school from 1926 to 1930. He played football at the University of Notre Dame as a center. Madigan was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 1974.

Vince Lombardi

Vincent Thomas Lombardi (June 11, 1913 – September 3, 1970) was an American football player, coach, and executive in the National Football League (NFL). He is best known as the head coach of the Green Bay Packers during the 1960s, where he led the team to three straight and five total NFL Championships in seven years, in addition to winning the first two Super Bowls at the conclusion of the 1966 and 1967 NFL seasons. Following his sudden death from cancer in 1970, the NFL Super Bowl trophy was named in his honor. He was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1971, the year after his death. Lombardi is considered by many to be the greatest coach in football history, and he is more significantly recognized as one of the greatest coaches and leaders in the history of any American sport.Lombardi began his coaching career as an assistant and later as a head coach at St. Cecilia High School in Englewood, New Jersey. He was an assistant coach at Fordham, at the United States Military Academy, and with the New York Giants before becoming a head coach for the Green Bay Packers from 1959 to 1967 and the Washington Redskins in 1969. He never had a losing season as a head coach in the NFL, compiling a regular season winning percentage of 72.8% (96–34–6), and 90% (9–1) in the postseason for an overall record of 105 wins, 35 losses, and 6 ties in the NFL.

William L. Dickinson High School

William L. Dickinson High School is a four-year comprehensive community public high school located in Jersey City, Hudson County, New Jersey, United States, serving students in ninth through twelfth grades as part of the Jersey City Public Schools. Dickinson occupies a prominent location on Bergen Hill overlooking lower Jersey City and the New York Harbor. The school has been accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Secondary Schools since 1929.As of the 2015-16 school year, the school had an enrollment of 1,994 students and 163.0 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 12.2:1. There were 1,429 students (71.7% of enrollment) eligible for free lunch and 98 (4.9% of students) eligible for reduced-cost lunch.

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